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Cynara scolymus (Compositae)

GLOBE ARTICHOKE

 

The edible flowerhead of the globe artichoke, as well as its leaves and root, is given by herbalists for liver, gallbladder and kidney disorders, and for high blood cholesterol levels.

 

A popular vegetable since Greek and Roman times, it is now a scientifically-proven liver remedy; it promotes the healing of liver tissue and can reduce blood cholesterol levels. A native of north Africa but widely cultivated around the world, the plant is a tall perennial with very long divided leaves that are greenish-grey on top and whitish beneath. Purple flowers appear in late summer and are large and thistle-like with soft spikes.

 

PARTS USED

Flowerhead, leaves, root.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Cynarin; sesquiterpene lactones; alkaloids; flavonoids, including scolymoside; inulin; tannins.

 

ACTIONS

Increases the flow of bile; heals liver cells; increases urine production; bitter (digestive stimulant).

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for gallbladder and bile diseases, and liver damage caused by toxins, alcohol or hepatitis. It is also prescribed for raised blood cholesterol levels, and kidney diseases that result in protein in the urine.

 

PREPARATIONS

Juice, infusion, vegetable, tincture.

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